Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook must face the U.S. government’s monopoly lawsuit alleging that the company abused its dominance and should be broken up, a judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s revised antitrust complaint, which the agency refiled after the judge in June dismissed the case. Boasberg said in his ruling that the FTC’s allegations are “more robust and detailed.”
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“The FTC has now alleged enough facts to plausibly establish that Facebook exercises monopoly power,” the judge wrote. “The agency has also explained that Facebook not only possesses monopoly power, but that it has willfully maintained that power through anticompetitive conduct.”
The decision is a major win for the FTC and Chair Lina Khan, who took over the case when she was named to lead the agency by President Joe Biden. The FTC filed the new complaint in August with new details to bolster the agency’s claim that Facebook has dominant market shares in the U.S. personal social-networking market and has the power to exclude competition. The case seeks a court order to unwind Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.
The case is U.S. Federal Trade Commission v. Facebook Inc., 20-3590, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.